1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmund Burke

Anonymous, "The Incantation" Diary or Woodfall's Register (29 October 1791).



A DARK VAULT UNDER ST. S—'S C—L, W—TER.
A LARGE CAULDRON BURNING IN THE MIDDLE.
THUNDER. ENTER THREE WITCHES.

1st WITCH.
Thrice the spectr'd dead have moan'd.

2d WITCH.
Twice and once, the Earth has groan'd.

3d WITCH.
Discord cries, 'tis time, 'tis time.

1st WITCH.
Round about the Cauldron run,
Faction finish what's begun.
(THEY WALK ROUND, AND THROW IN THEIR SEVERAL INGREDIENTS...)
Despot's root, from heart of B—ke;
Balm of Tartar and of Turk:
Freedom's venom hissing hot:
Fry thou first i' th' brazen pot.

ALL.
Double, double, toil and trouble,
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

1st WITCH.
Aspets tongues that coalesce;
Oil of N—th and foul finesse,
Essence of a Jesuit's brains,
Fraught with rankest blots and stains:
Powder'd flesh, and clotted gore;
F—x's faith and India's ore.
For a podge of perfect troubles,
There Rebellion boils and bubbles.

ALL.
Double, double, toil and trouble,
Fire burn and Cauldron bubble.

3d. WITCH.
Gums of Envy, teeth of Spite;
S—'s sting and aconite.
For a Regent's hungry craw
Party mash in P—d's maw:
Eye of Justice, Mercy's ears;
Brine distill'd from L—'s tears
Snivill'd at the Judgment lay:
S—y's sweat and attick spray:
Soul of S—t's strangl'd sense,
Hover thou in Hell's expanse.
Now the Devils frisk and prance.
Give a Hydra's horrid chawdron,
For the filling of our Cauldron.

ALL.
Double, double toil and trouble,
Fire burn and Cauldron bubble.

ENTER HECATE,

2d WITCH.
Cool it with a Nation's blood,
Now the charm is firm and good.

HECATE.
Sprites of nght, this potent spell,
Defies the mightier pow'rs of Hell.
Sound the warhoop, dance and sing,
Like infernals in a ring,
Devouring all that you pull in.

THUNDER. ALL VANISH.